How Twitter Put Newark & Cory Booker on the Map

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We can safely say that two decades ago, nobody outside of the Garden State could tell you what the mayor of Newark, New Jersey thought about politics — or even what his name was. Thanks to Twitter marketing, however, everybody near a computer (even those of us who don’t give a hoot about politics) can tell you that Cory Booker is the mayor of Newark and that his tweets have put the man and the town in the national spotlight.

Booker is to political tweeting what Kourtney Kardashian is to C-list celebrity tweeting — which is to say the man is quite prolific when it comes to using the platform to promote himself and his thoughts on the current political climate. The democrat has taken to Twitter to talk about everything from marriage equality to the education crisis. Still, the main thing Booker is talking about here is himself… like any good “Twitter artist,” Booker employs the site to talk about the guy he knows best.

Twitter can turn brands like Booker (because, let’s be honest, that’s what he and all politicians are) into bona fide headline-grabbing stars. Booker made serious waves over the weekend when he bashed Obama’s attack ads on Mitt Romney as “nauseating.” The comment, made on Meet the Press, was a bold one and one labeled a slap in the face by other Democrats working hard to get Obama re-elected. Nevertheless, it took some guts for the guy to speak out against the mudslinging practice, and his critics couldn’t wait to take Booker to the rack.

Unfortunately, Booker used his beloved Twitter to backpedal. In the days following his verbal shot heard ’round the world, Booker used the hashtag #IStandwithObama to show that he supports the president and plans on working to keep him in the White House. Again, critics turned up their noses at Booker’s change of heart.

Yet those of us who do Twitter management and marketing for a living know better. Booker is using the platform just like he should. Got an opinion? Say it on Twitter. Tick off people with that opinion? Apologize on Twitter. Rinse and repeat. When Booker has a bestseller on the charts and continues to make headlines, as we’re sure is the inevitable future, he’ll have Twitter to thank for it.

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